Tomorrow, Rihanna‘s sixth album “Talk That Talk” is officially released. And since I adore her more than words can describe, this week is officially “Talk That Talk” week on the blog with a new Rihanna-centric post coming every day.
Rihanna has taken over the Pop landscape in the 6 years since her hit debut single “Pon De Replay”. We’ve watched her evolve from the sweet Island girl to a sleek and stylish Pop Diva, and lately into a more risky and edgy Artist. The best way to track her visual and artistic evolution is to watch her music videos, and truth be told she has become quite the Video vixen offering a versatile slew of high-gloss videos that are always visually appealing and even sometimes thought-provoking.
Here are my favorite 10 videos from the Barbadian Beauty.
Rihanna has become known for a lot of things, but her style is one of her main draws. And this video, the 6th single from her break out “Good Girl Gone Bad”, is a testament to her constantly being in vogue. Her stylists did a great job with this video in mixing classic 50’s and 60’s style clothing with a contemporary edge, and the videos director does a great job at showcasing the different styles and offering a nice colorful haze to match the haziness of the song.
Another fashion show video, but this time set in a war-torn desert. RiRi looks great in this video that plays with the hardness of military accessories and the softness of Rihanna’s femininity. This video offers some great screen caps of some very original and humorous styling.
Back when her team were styling her to be Baby-Beyonce, this video was a clear homage of sorts to Miss Knowles. Yet even very early in her career, Rihanna showed that she has the natural charisma and beauty to sell a video on her own. She looks gorgeous in the various glam’d up shots here, but there’s something more than just the fashion and the high-gloss settings that makes this video, it’s Rihanna’s captivating appeal that makes it a video you can’t stop watching.
7. “Rude Boy”
Probably Rihanna’s most fun and energetic video, this video is just as flirty and naughty as the song so it matches perfectly. Also one of the few videos of hers where she dances, and seems to have a lot of fun doing so. Also having lots of fun flirting with her male co-stars which adds another level of humor and fun to what’s already a very visually loud video. It’s really her playfulness, above all the 90’s styled visual techniques, that makes the video.
6. “Only Girl (In The World)”
A video that keeps the literal interpretation of the title in tact, yet still has some fun with it. This colorful and vibrant clip is great because the director and his team did a lot to give the viewers things they don’t normally see in Pop videos. And every shot is just beautiful, artistic and unique. A really fun and engaging video that’s actually closer to a work of art than just a music video.
5. “Russian Roulette”
A very intense and dramatic clip was needed for the intense and dramatic song it’s accompanying. In that respect the video was perfect, it matches the tone of the song in a very beautiful and sleek way. The clip balances heavy emotion, high drama, and up to the date fashion. Of course Rihanna looks amazing as ever, but she’s also selling a story with her convincingly playing a character through her dramatic expessions. Ultimately the video succeeded in every thing it set out to do, and still it’s rather underrated.
Like in “Hard”, this video is mainly a play on what you’d expect. Using imagery of sexual perversion, but sweetening it up. Like her pink latex outfit while she has the media gagged and bound in pink leather, and the cutesy bondage set up. It’s dirty, but it’s “Barbie aisle” dirty! The video is a rapid fire paced, tongue and cheek, visual kaleidoscope that works so well with the pace of the song. (Although, we all know about the lawsuit right?)
For her star-making single, the video shows a lot of what Rihanna was made of and why she’d end up being so huge. The video is sleek, stylish, modern and intriguing. It has our girl serving in various set ups, from her umbrella dance to being painted completely in silver. A near flawless video that established her as the a great video artist capable of different styles and settings in music videos.
2. “Rockstar 101”
Another video I feel is sorely underrated. The Illuminati conspirators LOVED this video, but if you put that B.S. aside this is easily her fiercest and most edgy video by far. And she owns it completely. Every set up she manages to look sexy and still somehow a little Off and disturbing! It just seems everything about this video worked, and she totally sells that she’s a high-fashion Rock Star.
1. “We Found Love”
The internet was buzzing about this when it was first released, and yes all the hype was correct, this is quite a fantastic video. Is it supposed to be her and Chris Brown? I imagine it is, just replace the cheap beers and used up cars with champagne and luxury race cars. The “auto-biographical” edge does give the video another notch of greatness, but it’s not why it’s as effective. “We Found Love” is a real and genuine snapshot of Young Love gone bad and it matches so well with the song and is edited so masterfully. It’s a fast paced video, but you really do end up feeling something after watching it, which is very rare.